Group 31

Managing Director, Koya Partners

Michelle R. S. Bonoan

With more than 20 years of experience and special expertise serving the education, nonprofit, and arts and culture sectors, Michelle has successfully completed searches for executives at the highest tiers, including CEO, president, executive director, CFO, fundraising leadership, program management, and a wide range of other key positions.

Michelle  is a Managing Director at the Diversified Search Group through Koya Partners, which was acquired by Diversified Search in 2019. Previously, she had served as a managing director at Diversified Search from 2011 to 2013.

Michelle's clients include public and private research universities, liberal arts colleges, and independent college preparatory schools, as well as organizations dedicated to education, social services, arts and culture, children and family services, environment, and health-related issues.

Michelle is based in Los Angeles and has led searches on behalf of UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, California Institute of Technology, California State University, Los Angeles, Chapman University, Claremont McKenna College, Mills College, Pomona College, University of San Diego, Arizona State University, University of Oregon, Georgia Tech, and Carnegie Mellon University, among others.

Prior to joining Koya, Michelle was a Partner with Heidrick & Struggles, where she was a core member of the Education, Nonprofit and Social Enterprise practice. Michelle began her career in executive search in 1996 with a boutique retained executive search firm based in Los Angeles serving educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and corporations nationwide. She established the firm’s practice exclusively serving education and nonprofit clients, and ultimately became Vice President and Education & Nonprofit Practice Leader. 


B.S. California State University, Northridge, Business Administration, with emphasis in Management